Dubuque boasts wealth of local coffee shops

Dubuque boasts a wealth of local coffee shops for people looking to get their caffeine fix.

Plans recently were announced for a new Starbucks location at 2075 John F. Kennedy Road. The next Dubuque franchise for the national chain would come to a city that also boasts a wealth of locally owned coffee spots, many of which offer distinctive drinks and other choices.

Here is a look at Dubuque’s local coffee shops.

Beaker’s Coffee

Location: 1690 Elm St., in the Crescent Community Health Center building

Hours: 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays

Beverage highlights: Owner Paul Judy said popular offerings are bourbon caramel mochas and lattes, which he discovered while in the southern U.S.

Distinctive features: Judy said Beaker’s is more of a kiosk than a sit-down coffee shop, but he provides a more personal service to customers. The business also is a spot for people working at the health center.

“I believe in personalizing drinks,” he said. “’Tell me how I can improve it’ — I tell a lot of customers that. It makes me better as a coffee shop owner and as a barista, and it brings people back in.”

Bob & Lou’s

Location: 1895 University Ave.

Hours: 6 a.m.-noon weekdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Beverage highlights: Owner Sarah Knabel said the gourmet lattes and mochas are popular and feature flavors such as a cinnamon roll mocha. Seasonal lemonades also combine flavors such as lavender and mint.

Distinctive features: Bob & Lou’s also sells drinks out of a coffee camper, which travels to various locations from May 1 to Oct. 31, including to local events. Locations of the camper are posted on social media.

“The nostalgia of coming up to the vintage camper and getting your coffee is a unique experience that the Dubuque area doesn’t really have anywhere else,” Knabel said.

BUZ Coffee & Energy

Location: 245 W. Second St.

Hours: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday

Beverage highlights: BUZ partners with Verena Street Coffee Co., and customers enjoy the local connection to their drinks, owner Tony Hesselman said. BUZ also puts a twist on energy drinks by adding colors and flavors to the drinks.

Distinctive features: In addition to serving energy drinks, BUZ is open longer hours to provide more accessibility to customers, especially the business’ younger crowd, Hesselman said.

“Being open essentially all day and into the evening makes us a little bit unique for our customers, like college students who maybe aren’t looking for coffee at 7 a.m. but they are looking for coffee at 4 p.m.,” he said.

Charlotte’s Coffee House

Location: 1104 White St.

Hours: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Beverage highlights: Charlotte’s vanilla latte and chai latte are very popular, as well as their foam-based drinks, manager Tom Unger said.

Distinctive features: Unger said Charlotte’s owner, Cheryl Rusk, has cultivated an atmosphere that is welcoming to all. He said Rusk’s generous nature also has been instilled in the staff.

“We get people from newborns all the way up to 90-year-olds,” Unger said. “Anyone can come in here and feel appreciated. We have a good quality of food and drinks that they can gather with others and enjoy.”

Convivium Urban Farmstead

Location: 2811 Jackson St.

Hours: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday

Beverage highlights: Lauren Bunten, coffee shop manager and events coordinator at Convivium, said the coffee shop offers a wide variety of drinks, but its chai and cold brew are highlights.

Distinctive features: Bunten noted that the coffee shop portion of Convivium began as a coffee counter and has grown into a full-service shop.

“One of the things that I always like to tell people is that 100% of the profits go to feeding local families,” she said. “If you order a drink or latte, it’s going straight toward something meaningful. And our drinks are delicious.”

Devour Café

Location: 1798 Central Ave.

Hours: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. daily

Beverage highlights: Devour Café has a large menu focused on preparing drinks in the traditional European and Latin methods, such as cortados and macchiatos, owner Ryan Dies said. The business also offers a coffee flight, which features a combination of any three drinks off the menu.

Distinctive features: Dies said he renovated the café space himself and has spent 30 years working in the coffee business. The café also roasts coffee.

“Our menu features drinks from all over the world in Dubuque, and it gives this community an opportunity to have drinks prepared in the proper way,” he added. “… We try to give a little education and a deeper level of info on our drinks. All anyone needs is to ask.”

Habits Coffee and Mini Donut Co.

Location: 1072 Locust St., Suite A

Hours: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m.-noon Saturday and Sunday

Habits staff did not return a request for comment.

Jitterz Coffee & Café

Location: 1073 Main St.

Hours: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays

Jitterz staff did not return requests for comment.

Jumble Coffee Co.

Location: 820 Wacker Drive. The Dubuque location is drive-thru only. Jumble also has locations in Asbury and Peosta.

Hours: 6 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays

Attempts to reach Jumble’s owner were unsuccessful.

One Mean Bean

Location: 2278 Asbury Road

Hours: 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Beverage highlights: Employee Molly Smith said the vanilla chai latte is extremely popular. The menu has a long list of flavor options, such as white chocolate raspberry and toasted marshmallow.

Distinctive features: Smith said One Mean Bean is one of few coffee shops in that particular area of Dubuque and the shop has a quiet atmosphere people enjoy. However, the main draw is the drinks, she said.

“We have people come in from out of town that tell me they come here for the vanilla chai,” Smith said. “So it’s the vanilla chai and our extensive list of flavors. We’re also told we have more flavors than anyone else.”


Location: 373 Bluff St.

Hours: Opens at 8 a.m. Sundays and at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Co-owner Trish Jansen said the business closes at 11 p.m. or later.

Beverage highlights: Monk’s mixes its coffee with booze, Jansen said. Highlights include Irish coffee, espresso martinis and a chai latte mixed with Captain Morgan and RumChata.

Distinctive features: Jansen said the selection of a full bar and full coffee shop makes Monk’s stand out from other local establishments.

“The atmosphere is very inviting,” she said. “It’s a little bohemian. It’s intimate. We also have a really nice outdoor space in the back, and we’re starting to get some live music going.”

Wayfarer Coffee

Location: 955 Washington St.

Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. daily.

Beverage highlights: Owner Darin Shireman said Wayfarer boasts an extensive menu, but one highlight is its signature Wayfarer latte. The syrup used in the drink is made from scratch and has a “cozy” feel, he said.

Distinctive features: Shireman said Wayfarer staff roast their coffee right in Dubuque. Most of the business’ coffee growers are in Guatemala, Nicaragua and parts of eastern Africa.

“We travel and work directly with growers,” Shireman said. “We do a lot of long-term commitments and developments, and our growers are paid better than just about anybody.”